June 23, 2011 by
Strengthening local institutions is key to ensuring the involvement of smallholder farmers in payments for environmental service (PES) deals. PRESA worked with Nature Harness Initiatives (NAHI) in Uganda to prepare local stakeholders for participation in carbon PES along River Wambabya in the Albertine Rift, and watershed PES at the Rushebeya-Kanyabaha wetland.
The work involved cataloguing the potential sellers, intermediaries and private-sector buyers of environmental services in the two landscapes. Awareness creation was conducted among potential sellers at community level. These included existing groups and networks of land owners, forest owners, people engaged in forest and wetland-based enterprises, parish wetland management committees and other users of forest and wetland resources.
The potential buyers included Kisiizi Hospital Power Company (at Rushebeya-Kanyabaha) and British American Tobacco and McLeod Russel Uganda( at Wambabya). Dialogue on PES was initiated among the potential buyers and government institutions. At the Wambabya riverine forest system, the two private sector companies have contributed greatly to ecosystem conservation in their areas of operation.
At the Rushebeya-Kanyabaha wetland, NAHI brought together all key stakeholders in a workshop. An action plan was developed calling for an uncultivated reserve of at least 5 metres from the river banks, in return for support in promoting alternative income generating activities. The Kisiizi hospital hydro-dam administration expressed willingness to pay for the management of the wetland. There are high hopes that this will be the first payment for environmental service scheme in the area.
NAHI, with PRESA support, assisted individual forest owners to develop their respective forest restoration plans. 110 such plans are being implemented under the Sustainable Ecosystems (Forests and Fresh water) management project in Uganda, supported by British American Tobacco.
Beyond its collaboration with PRESA, NAHI used the maps and forest management interventions generated with PRESA in a World Bank and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) project intended to institute a payment scheme for selected forest owners.
“The main objective of our work with PRESA is to establish institutional frameworks to facilitate reward mechanisms for environmental services in Rushebeya-Kanyabaha and Wambabya,” says NAHI.
Click here to download the full report by NAHI [PDF, 1.2MB).